It’s Brooklyn’s own Platform 9 3/4.
A rumored “secret platform” between stations at Bedford-Nostrand and Myrtle-Willoughby sparked intense curiosity, first from straphangers who were in the train car where the motorman opened the doors for two women to exit into the semi-darkness, and then from New Yorkers at large.
The account, first published in Gothamist yesterday, told the stories of two commuters who reportedly saw just that.
Twitter user Nellie Killan asked: “So, has anyone ever seen the G train conductor stop the train between Bedford-Nostrand and Myrtle-Willoughby, unlock an ad to reveal a handle that opens the door to the tunnel, and then let two women out?”
The story and ensuing snowball of similar stories led to speculation about everything from extra or abandoned tunnels and secret rooms with bar-covered frosted windows, to magical wormholes and otherworldly portals.
Those of us here at Fort Greene Focus even went for a ride back and forth on the G last night to see what we could spot for ourselves and didn’t find anything except for doors marked “emergency exit.”
So what gives?
Well, according to an update on the original Gothamist post, we have the most likely answer: a signal tower entrance.
According to Jon Hanford:
“There is something called a ‘bench wall’ that runs along basically the entirety of all the tunnels—which is platform height and designed mostly for emergency exit.Between Bedford-Nostrand and Myrtle Willoghby there’s a tower, basically a control room that operates the switches over a given section of track. It’s usually unmanned, but during construction when the G short-turns at Bedford-Nostrand the tower is manned to control the ‘relay procedure’ when the train turns around.
As it happens, just such a short turn relay procedure is in effect after 11 pm this week.
So what the passengers saw, most likely, is simply the dispatchers going to work, getting ready to relay trains at Bedford Nostrand. This is normally unseen because it happens so infrequently, and because dispatchers often just walk to the office through the tunnel, but maybe these women asked for a favor? That part I can’t say. But it’s almost 100% dispatchers going to the tower.”
So, basically, nothing to see here!
Except fortunately for us, we can still check out “a real, working signal tower on the platform level of the New York Transit Museum in Downtown Brooklyn,” a city transit worker told Gothamist.